The comedic world is still reeling from the death of Joan Rivers, but a new report that reveals the medical professional who performed throat surgery on the comedienne took a selfie mid-procedure is angering fans and friends of the late star.
A source close to the death investigation also told CNN that the cardiac arrest leading to Rivers’ death happened as the doctor began performing a biopsy on her vocal chords.
A staff member at Manhattan’s Yorkville Endoscopy clinic told investigators that the doctor, who has not been publicly identified, took a selfie photo in the procedure room while Rivers was under anesthesia, the source said.
Rivers, 81, was at the clinic for a scheduled endoscopy by another doctor, gastroenterologist Dr. Lawrence Cohen. That procedure, intended to help diagnose her hoarse voice and sore throat, involved the insertion of a camera down her throat.
After Cohen, the clinic’s medical director, finished his work, a biopsy was done on Rivers without her prior consent, according to the source.
Officials investigating Rivers’ death say her vocal chords began to swell during the unauthorized biopsy, limiting the flow of oxygen and leading to cardiac arrest.
Yorkville Endoscopy issued a statement last Thursday denying reports that any vocal cord biopsy has ever been done at the clinic, although federal privacy law prevented any patient information from being released.
The day after the denial was issued, the clinic confirmed that Dr. Cohen “is not currently performing procedures…nor is he currently serving as medical director.”
The source said that at this time neither Cohen nor the ear, nose and throat doctor have been accused of wrongdoing by investigators.
The clinic has yet to release a statement regarding the alleged selfie and biopsy.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty